Klay will try to do something when healthy only MJ did originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Klay Thompson's Achilles injury suffered during a workout Wednesday is expected to sideline him for the entire 2020-21 NBA season, the second consecutive season Thompson will miss due to injury.
Thompson can put up points as well as anyone in the NBA when he's fully healthy, but we'll likely have to wait until the 2021-22 season to see him back in a live game. Only one other NBA player has missed two consecutive seasons and returned to average 20 points a game. So, if Klay were to accomplish that, he'd have some pretty good company.
That player was, of course, Michael Jordan.
Klay Thompson averaged 20 PPG in each of his last 5 seasons. Can he get back to that?
The only player since the 1976-77 merger to average 20 PPG after missing 2 seasons in a row was Michael Jordan in 2001-02 after coming out of retirement with the Wizards. @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/lIPvwmsngN
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 19, 2020
There are very few parallels between Thompson's current injury situation and Jordan's second retirement from the NBA. MJ left his playing career behind in 1999 to pursue a career as an NBA executive, serving as part-owner and president of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards. But after three seasons, Jordan decided to sign himself back onto the roster as a player, and averaged 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists in his age-38 season.
Thompson will turn 31 on Feb. 8, but now has a grueling Achilles tear recovery process ahead of him, after spending all of the 2019-20 season rehabbing from an ACL tear in his other leg.
In his last fully healthy season, Klay averaged 21.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. It's impossible to tell what Thompson will look like whenever he returns after such an extended layoff, but he'll definitely work as hard as he can to get back to the level Thompson played at prior to his injury.